There was, and is, great depth and subtly to the Muslim Brotherhood’s politics, even amid its blunders over the previous year.
Secrecy and rigidity run deep in the Muslim Brotherhood, both reflecting a means of survival and suggesting why today’s Muslim Brotherhood was as ill-suited for governing a nation successfully as it was adept at guiding an opposition. “Listen and obey” is a guiding principle for Muslim Brotherhood members, highlighting a leadership style that is inconsistent with Egypt’s powerful, prevailing demographics. Half of all Egyptians are under the age of 25; this cohort is enervated, technologically well-connected and desperate for opportunities too long denied.
Ironically, the “listen and obey” ethos is compatible with an Egyptian military that briefly tolerated the Brotherhood’s ascendancy before ultimately ending President Mohammed Morsi’s reign of errors. General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the rank and file Egyptian officer corps are committed by law to the defense of Egypt. They also are dedicated by practice and precedent to securing their long-standing place and privileges within the Egyptian economy.